Nebraska Revised Statute 76-1429
Fire or casualty damage.
(1) If the dwelling unit or premises are damaged or destroyed by fire or casualty to an extent that enjoyment of the dwelling unit is substantially impaired, the tenant may:
(a) Immediately vacate the premises and notify the landlord in writing within fourteen days thereafter of his intention to terminate the rental agreement, in which case the rental agreement terminates as of the date of vacating; or
(b) If continued occupancy is lawful, vacate any part of the dwelling unit rendered unusable by the fire or casualty, in which case the tenant's liability for rent is reduced in proportion to the diminution in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.
(2) If the rental agreement is terminated the landlord shall return all prepaid rent and security recoverable under section 76-1416. Accounting for rent in the event of termination or apportionment is to occur as of the date of the casualty. Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the tenant is responsible for damage caused by his negligence.
- Laws 1974, LB 293, § 29.
The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act expressly upholds tenants’ liability for negligent fire damage. SFI Ltd. Partnership 8 v. Carroll, 288 Neb. 698, 851 N.W.2d 82 (2014).
Where a specific statute holds a tenant responsible for fire damages caused by his or her negligence, a court cannot hold a lease provision doing so as void against public policy or unconscionable. SFI Ltd. Partnership 8 v. Carroll, 288 Neb. 698, 851 N.W.2d 82 (2014).